Remember when professional sports teams would come and go? Well, let’s take a lighthearted look at some of the franchises that have relocated or folded throughout the history of professional sports in the United States. While this list is far from complete, here are 41 teams that you can no longer find under the “active” tab.
First up, we have the Boston/Milwaukee Braves. The Atlanta Braves, the oldest continuous professional baseball franchise, started in Boston in 1871. They moved to Milwaukee in 1952 due to declining attendance and stayed there until 1966, winning the 1957 World Series along the way.
Next, we have the Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals. The Chicago Cardinals were one of the NFL’s charter franchises in 1920 before moving to St. Louis in 1960 and eventually to Phoenix in 1988.
Then, there were the Kansas City Scouts, an NHL expansion team in 1974. Unfortunately, they only lasted two seasons before becoming the Colorado Rockies and later the New Jersey Devils.
The Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks, now known as the Atlanta Hawks, had quite the journey. Starting out as the Buffalo Bison, they spent three years in Moline, Ill as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks before moving to Milwaukee from 1951-1955. They then settled in St. Louis from 1955-68 before finally finding their current home in Atlanta.
The Detroit Pistons also had a change of scenery. Originally from Ft. Wayne, Indiana, they moved to Detroit in 1957 due to attendance problems.
The Cleveland Barons were created when the California Golden Seals relocated to Cleveland. However, they only lasted two seasons before being folded into the Minnesota North Stars.
Ah, the Baltimore Colts. This beloved team won three NFL championships and Super Bowl V before breaking the hearts of many by moving to Indianapolis in the middle of the night in 1984.
The Philadelphia/Kansas City A’s, one of the American League’s original teams, had a storied history. They won nine pennants and five World Series before moving to Kansas City in 1955 and eventually to Oakland in 1968. Now, Oakland looks to be headed for this list as they eye Las Vegas as their latest landing spot.
The Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants were two National League teams with over 150 combined seasons playing in the city. However, they both moved to California after the 1957 season.
The Cleveland/St. Louis Rams also had their fair share of moves. They played in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945 before moving to Los Angeles. After 20 years in St. Louis, they returned to Southern California.
Let’s not forget about the Atlanta Thrashers, who entered the NHL in 1999 but only made the playoffs once before leaving for Winnipeg in 2011.
The Atlanta Flames played in Atlanta from 1972 to 1980 before moving to Calgary.
The Minneapolis Lakers, with big George Mikan as their star, played in the Twin Cities from 1947-1960 and won five titles.
The Hartford Whalers were originally a member of the World Hockey Association before joining the NHL in 1979. They played in Hartford until 1997 when they relocated to Raleigh, N.C., becoming the Carolina Hurricanes.
The St. Louis Browns, an American League team, played at Sportsman’s Park from 1902 to 1953 before relocating to Baltimore and becoming the Orioles.
The San Diego Chargers arrived in San Diego in 1961 but departed for a largely uninterested Los Angeles area in 2017.
The Dallas Texans, owned by Lamar Hunt, only lasted for three seasons before moving to Kansas City and becoming the Chiefs.
There were actually two Washington Senators baseball teams. The first played from 1901 to 1960 before moving to Minnesota and becoming the Twins. The second team started in 1961 and played until 1971 before leaving for Texas to become the Rangers.
The Colorado Rockies, originally founded as the Kansas City Scouts, played from 1976-1982 before relocating to New Jersey and becoming the Devils.
The Philadelphia Warriors played in Philadelphia from 1946 to 1962 before moving to the Bay Area, where they still play today.
The Syracuse Nationals played from 1946 to 1963 before relocating to Philadelphia and becoming the 76ers.
The franchise now known as the Sacramento Kings started off in New York and Cincinnati before moving to Kansas City and eventually Sacramento.
The Baltimore/Washington Bullets started off in Chicago before moving to Baltimore and then Washington. They changed their name to the Wizards in 1997.
The Quebec Nordiques played in the World Hockey Association before joining the NHL. They moved to Colorado and won the Stanley Cup in their first season there.
The Houston Oilers played in the AFL before joining the NFL. They eventually moved to Tennessee in 1997.